The newly announced Zeiss Supreme Primes will comprise of 13 high-end lenses for full frame and bigger sensors with an image circle of 46.2 mm. Covering just about any focal length from 15mm to the 200mm, it means they have been purpose built for cinematic large format sensors for cameras such as the SONY Venice, RED Monstro 8K and ARRI Alexa.
The compact and more lightweight Supreme Primes are a logical evolution in the Zeiss cine lens range, sitting comfortably between their Ultra Primes and Master Primes. They offer the same optical quality that we are used to from Zeiss cine lenses, but with more comfortable handling.
"The ZEISS Supreme Primes possess a look, which ensures freedom in creating the look you want to achieve. Especially when capturing crucial textures such as skin tones, the unique quality of the ZEISS Supreme Prime lenses is a gentle sharpness that renders a crisp but organic look."
– Cinematographer: Maher Maleh.
According to Zeiss, consistency is one of the key elements offered by the Zeiss Supreme Prime lenses: that means consistent coverage, colour rendering, aperture, size, weight and ergonomics. The lenses are colour matched across the full range and most feature a fast T-stop of T1.5. The small front diameter of 95 mm on almost all lenses and the standard positioning of focus and iris rings means that you can change equipment with ease. This technology should speed up your post-production process.
“A very smooth transition between in-focus and out of focus areas characterize the unique look of the ZEISS Supreme Prime lenses. This adds richer texture and greater depth to the image.”
– Cinematographer: Akira Sako.
The Supreme Primes feature Extended Data technology, which is critical for VFX-intensive productions and workflow. This means your metadata will include info on depth-of-field, focusing distance, T-stop, focal length as well as distortion and vignetting data.
A mix of quality and durability, the Supreme Primes are ultra fast. The first 6 lenses in the series will be the 25mm, 29mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 100mm. The rest of the lenses will be released gradually over the next two years.
Sample Footage with ZEISS Supreme Primes, shot on RED Monstro 8K VV:
New High-End Cinema Lens Family ZEISS Supreme Primes
With its 13 high-speed, full-frame, prime lenses for high-quality film productions, ZEISS is focusing on maximum quality, low weight, and significant versatility when it comes to creating superb visual imagery.
ZEISS has introduced a new family of high-speed lenses for high-end film production: The ZEISS Supreme Prime family consists of 13 lenses with fixed focal lengths between 15 and 200 millimetres, the majority with a maximum aperture of T1.5. “The lenses are designed for film productions of an extremely high quality,” says Christophe Casenave from ZEISS. “They are perfect for high-budget advertising or feature films, for example.” ZEISS Supreme Primes are designed to cover cinematic large format camera sensors and are compatible with all of the latest camera models, such as the Sony Venice, ARRI Alexa LF, and RED Monstro. According to Casenave, the versatility of the Supreme Prime lenses to create different visual looks is due to the gentle sharpness, the aesthetic focus fall-off and elegant bokeh. The lenses are extremely flexible and can be used equally well for science fiction thrillers as well as for dramas.
Compact and Lightweight
"Weighing an average of 1600 grams (3.5 pounds), ZEISS Supreme Primes are significantly lighter and smaller than comparable lenses on the market,” says Casenave. With these compact and lightweight lenses, ZEISS is responding to many camera operators’ desire for compact equipment that still meets the highest standards of quality. “ZEISS Supreme Primes are unbelievably rugged and reliable. Regardless of whether filming in the desert or in the Arctic, the lenses perform flawlessly. And in the event that something should ever break, our worldwide service network provides fast and professional help.”
ZEISS eXtended Data Metadata Technology
The ZEISS Supreme Primes are equipped with the ZEISS eXtended Data metadata technology. Introduced in 2017, ZEISS eXtended Data provides frame by frame data on lens vignetting and distortion in addition to the standard lens metadata provided using Cooke's /i technology1 protocol. This greatly speeds up the entire film production’s workflow. When using visual effects for example, with only a few clicks, the lens properties can be removed so that computer-generated effects imagery can be accurately applied to the captured imagery. The lens properties can then be reapplied with the same click of a button and combined with the film material to create a realistic image. Previously, all of the data had to be measured manually so that it could be corrected in post-production. But ZEISS eXtended Data eliminates this time-consuming job.
Price and Availability
The first ZEISS Supreme Primes lenses with focal lengths of 25, 29, 35, 50, and 85 millimetres will be available starting on August 1, 2018. The ZEISS Supreme Prime 100 millimetre will be available in December 2018. The set of six lenses, consisting of the focal lengths mentioned above, is available from ZEISS Cinema lens dealers for 108,000 USD. The remaining focal lengths will be released successively until 2020.